hold back

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hold back (on something)

to withhold something; to give or take only a limited amount. Hold back on the gravy. I'm on a diet. That's enough. Hold back. Save some for the others.
See also: back, hold

hold (someone, something, or an animal) back (from someone or something)

to restrain someone, something, or an animal from getting at or getting to someone or something. The parents held the children back from the cake and ice cream until the hostess said she was ready. Please hold back your dog.
See also: back, hold

hold something back

also hold back something
to keep something secret They talk about everything and hold back nothing.
See also: back, hold

hold back (from doing something)

to avoid doing something Unable to hold back, we screamed with laughter. We were worried about viewers' reactions, so we held back from broadcasting the show.
See also: back, hold

hold back

Also, keep back.
1. Retain in one's possession or control, as in He held back vital information, or I managed to keep back my tears. [First half of 1500s]
2. Restrain one-self, as in She held back from joining the others, or I wanted to denounce him right there, but I kept back for fear of making a scene. The first usage dates from the second half of the 1500s, the variant from the early 1800s.
3. Impede the progress of, as in The barriers held back traffic during the funeral procession, or Her daughter was kept back and had to repeat first grade.
See also: back, hold

hold back

1. To restrain someone or something: The principal held back the bully. We held the dog back when the guests arrived.
2. To retain something in one's possession or control: The witness held back valuable information. I held my tears back when I heard the bad news.
3. To impede the progress of someone or something: Your interference is holding me back from completing the job. The manager's incompetence held back the staff from meeting their sales quota.
See also: back, hold
References in periodicals archive ?
However, we would like our shareholders to tell us how much gold we should continue to hold back.
And Shearer would not know how to hold back, anyway.
A distraught Hunter Mahan was unable to hold back the tears while reflecting on his 3&1 loss to Graeme McDowell in the final singles match, which decided the destiny of the Ryder Cup for the first time since 1991.
The Enteryx procedure uses an endoscope inserted through the mouth and down the esophagus to inject a liquid that strengthens a lower esophageal valve, which in acid reflux fails to hold back stomach acid.
Summary: This month's surprise decision to hold back from more help for the economy was unanimously backed by rate-setters.
Breaking away: With the Lakers playing back-to-back games - and the possibility of players running with tired legs - Jackson said he wouldn't instruct Gary Payton to hold back in pushing the ball up court.
So, for the next two weeks, anyway, hold back on the ``shark'' jokes.
He was wearing a garish turquoise-colored suit and didn't hold back in his attack on Vargas.
Speaking of pink-flowering spring plants, it is impossible to hold back enthusiasm for the ever popular India hawthorn (Rhaphiolepis indica).
Part of the problem with retaining eighth-graders stemmed from teachers' reluctance to hold back failing students, said teachers union President Day Higuchi.
Los Angeles Unified has sharply scaled back once-ambitious plans to abolish social promotion, abandoning efforts to hold back students in three new grades this year.
Los Angeles Unified officials said Thursday they plan to hold back about 13,500 students this fall when the district ends social promotion, far fewer than the hundreds of thousands once feared.
The district originally hoped to hold back students in grades three, four and five as well this school year.
Districts will be required to hold back poor performing students in grades 2, 3, 4 as well as the grades between elementary and middle school, and middle and high school.
Just as after her Goodwill triumph, Joyner-Kersee couldn't hold back tears.